The majority of persons at risk of statelessness in Albania are entitled to nationality as per the law on citizenship, but find difficulties to have it confirmed in practice. The main obstacle remains access to birth registration, which is hindered due to costly and lengthy administrative and judicial procedures, both in Albania and in other countries where the birth of Albanian children occurs. This particularly affects Roma and Egyptian communities, as they are often socially and economically marginalized, but also Albanian returnees whose children were born abroad.
Albanian legal framework has significantly improved in the past years, but the country is yet to meet its international obligations, especially in preventing situations of childhood statelessness. Existing legislation on statelessness has been improved with the revised Law on Civil Status which was adopted by Parliament. UNHCR and UNICEF legal experts have drafted the six bylaws that are endorsed by relevant ministries. The new Law on Citizenship will help to achieve compliance with international obligations stemming from the UN Statelessness Conventions which were ratified by Albania and will help to satisfy the standards required for the European Accession Agreement.
In 2018 a statelessness mapping study was published which identified 1,031 persons at risk of statelessness. The study provides a number of recommendations to reduce the number of stateless persons at risk of statelessness. UNHCR and UNICEF and their partners will provide support to INSTAT (Institute of Statistics) in the census that will be conducted in 2022.
Tirana Legal Aid Association (TLAS), UNHCR’s implementation partner, undertaking outreach activities in Berat in February 2020 to increase awareness about risks of statelessness in Albania. © Tirana Legal Aid Association
1. Supporting the implementation of legislative amendments adopted in 2018 to improve access to birth registration procedures.
Goal: Strengthen national capacity to grant children’s access to nationality and birth registration on non-discriminatory grounds.
2. Supporting the drafting of legislation to establish a Statelessness Determination Procedure and address statelessness.
Goal: Strengthen national capacity to grant protection status to stateless refugees and migrants and to facilitate their naturalization.